Why Brilliant Ideas Fail!
Caught in a surreal and unusual atmosphere between heaven and earth. Streams of ideas begin to flow through your eyes, amazing ideas just too good to be true. The light bulb trips off and Voila! An idea stands out which is to create a platform that annually transports Nigerians to the moon and back!
Your heart longed for dawn to express and execute your newly caught initiative. Now it is dawn but that very doable idea you got seems to taste bland, words become hard to express, because the light of impossibility seems to taunt. Simply put reality stares at you without mercy.
While you’re still sunk in that barrier, someone casually suggest similar idea to an Aliko Dangote, having looked at the potentials and prospects in it, he adds to his revered to-do.
In less than 5 months, Aliko launches an initiative that would probably have taken you 2 years or more to execute (if at all you started it). Why was Aliko able to do that, was it because he had a better idea than you did? No. Because he planned well? Not quite. Or because he had money to throw around? Not absolutely correct.
Linda Ikeji did catch the attention of the media and many Nigerians when she launched her social network on the 1st of Nov. I was one of the very excited people, this was because weeks earlier, I was still discussing with a friend that I strongly believe Facebook can have a worthy local competitor and then LIS came to bare. From reports, it took Linda Ikeji about 6 months to nurture and birth the idea.
Now let’s be honest, the idea of a Nigerian social network is not anything novel or too above the head that an average millennial entrepreneur can’t think about. Am sure there are hundreds of Nigerians with similar ideas, with probably the best of names, UI/UX, strong business model and brilliant go-to-market strategy.
But you know why like the Linda and Aliko example it might never see the light of day? It is simple “Capacity”.
Many brilliant and multi-million dollar ideas fail because there is no required capacity to effectively deliver or execute the idea.
Capacity means the emotional, mental or physical ability to do something. It will be regarded as absurd for a biochemist to assume the role of a neurosurgeon with prior experience, basing such drive on the premise of a novel idea to surgery.
Caveat: The underlying reason here is not to discourage entrepreneurs but to identify a problem and subsequently proffer solutions to it.
Let’s face it, ideas are ideas, they would always come both to the capable and incapable, you want to build an e-commerce platform and you have not the slightest idea on coding or marketing, it might be a still birth, but should you now drop such ideas because of a missing skill? No! An Emphatic No!
What should you do when that light goes off again?
- Acquire Knowledge: As bright and nice as the idea might sound, a good understanding of the industry, mechanics and relevant details about the idea is a no brainer. Often times you realize that the ideas that you get, you probably do not have the capacity or market knowledge to execute it. The solution is to learn. Impossible is Nothing.
- Collaborate and Co-create: I believe we Africans need to consciously break free from the greed mentality. Because you got the idea doesn’t necessarily mean you have the expertise to execute ‘alone’. Jobberman and Red Media are good examples that come to mind. Find a team, Find a co-founder who will make up for your excesses. If you want to go far then go with people. Develop a legal document to fail proof your idea and clear cut team roles.
- Find an investor: You might have the mental, emotional and even human capacity to convert your idea into an enterprise and lack financial capacity, which seems to be very crucial in any initiative. Give life to your idea, so alive that when a potential see it, the idea speaks for itself. Success they say is when opportunity meets preparation.